Thursday, February 21, 2013


I am pleased to report that I am going to be in the fox run area a bit longer! At least for 6 more weeks. Super cool! We are getting 18 more sisters this transfer. Our mission is really growing. It's wild! Also, Elder Davis will still be here as well. Missionary work-wise, most notably we no longer have any BCD's, but we have recently picked up a former, and she is so solid. We will meet with her today, hopefully! Extending the commitment to be baptized, too! So hopefully that goes well. So as I am extending all sorts of commitments to people in preparation for baptism, I realized that some of the things I am asking people to do, I myself did not do when I was home. I want to ask each of you, to go through Preach My Gospel, lessons 1-5, and look at the commitments I am extending to people. Commitments people have to agree to live before they can be baptized and cleansed of their sins. We promise God to "keep His commandments which He has given them" when we take the sacrament. Please, don't let Satan tell you that God just merely suggests things for you and I to do. God is all knowing, all powerful, and knows what we need.I know that as you look through the things in lessons 1-5, (and particularly 4 & 5) you will grow closer to Jesus Christ, and feel His love more abundantly, because you are becoming who you were sent to the Earth to become. Other than that, not much to say! I love and miss you all, and am so excited to hear from you when I get the chance. I can't wait for the day I get to see you all again. With love, Elder Smith

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kevin's February Hero

Here is Kevin's Hero for the month of February. It's Nephi from the Book of Mormon. Nephi has always been a hero of mine too, but I like all the things Kevin reminds us of about Nephi.

"I have been studying recently in the book of 1st Nephi, so i'm going to have to go with Nephi (the first). He is quite the man. I don't know how he did what he did, but I just can't even imagine. When his brothers were complaining, he was strong. When his parents AND his brothers were complaining, he was strong. He had angels protecting him, he built a very modern ship, and not only that, but made the tools himself in order to make the ship. He loved his wife. He had the Spirit as his constant companion. He was so close with God and knew the Spirit so well that when the Spirit told him to do something against what he had known to be true his whole life, he was able to do it, and recognize that God was asking him to do something. He got down. He was sorrowed. He didn't have by any means a cushy or easy life. And yet when he got down, he took faith and courage right away from the scriptures and from what God had already taught him. He never fell away, his testimony and faith were not shaken. Take Alma the younger, for example. He was an AMAZING man. Yet he had not always been that rock in the gospel. And yes, the reason we have the Atonement is to be forgiven, but it seems as though, as I read 1 Nephi, Nephi had so much less to be forgiven of than most. He honoured his father and mother, and even praised them to the entire eternities! Shoot, he even understood Isaiah. And that right there qualifies him to be hero of the month. He is the only person, (that I have come across thus far in studying) that has seen the Holy Ghost. He taught probably the best sermon on the Jesus Christ's doctrines i think in the history of scriptures. He understood the plan of salvation so well. I could go on and on about Nephi. He was so strong, he was even shown the destruction and downfall of his descendants and people. And it got him down, and he was really sad, and yet, he bounced right back, and gave glory and praise to God. I can't imagine being shown something like that. To know that my posterity were going to ultimately fail. I would wonder "why even try?" And yet, he pressed on. Nephi has taught me that there is no commandment that I have been given that I cannot follow. And that is huge. I now know, because of him, that I can finish emailing in an hour. I can get up exactly at 6:30. I can keep clean and pure thoughts. I can avoid using slang. Thanks to him we have the entire Book o Mormon. He is definitely a worthy hero."

Power Week

This power week was definitely a learning experience. We did not have anywhere near the amount of success we were shooting and hoping for. But, we tried our best, worked hard, and have visited with a lot of members concerning their missionary efforts. Which leads me to ask of all of you, do more missionary work. If you've been on a mission, then you know, but for those that have not, the way to do missionary work is the members find people to teach, the missionaries do the teaching. I can't tell you how much the work would be going forward if everyone here was looking for missionary opportunities and inviting people daily to church-related activities or discussions. Being out here like I have has increased my testimony of member missionary work tenfold. It is saddening and disappointing to see members who do not do missionary work, because they are keeping the work from progressing, and denying themselves blessings. Read this month's Ensign for more on missionary work. But it's my prayer that you ALL will decide now and each day to share your testimony, and to invite people to learn more about Jesus Christ's church. As I promised, I am going on a blind date. On Tuesday Elder Miller and I (yes, that is the same Elder Miller that you were asking about, dad) are going to be going to a blind valentine's date at an old folks' home for a service opportunity. We are going to be fed dinner, and are going to just sit and talk to and get to know those who need a friend. Elder Davis will be on a trade off in Perdido, and so Elder Miller, (who is also being trained) will come here and we will work together. He is a transfer behind me. That will be my second trade off in which I received the person being traded off. It's a bit trickier just because you are the one who has to plan everything and basically you are the senior companion for the day. But it's a good learning experience. I hear ya'll in Utah are just getting POUNDED with snow and cold this year. Sounds like this has been a winter that will not soon be forgotten. On the other end of the spectrum, tornado watches and whatnot still come into play a lot here. You have never seen rain like what it rains here. Imagine an airborne river coming down. That is what it is like. It's outrageous! Elder Davis just found out a friend of his, who is a girl, is coming to this mission. That's a huge concern right now in the mission. With the new influx of sister missionaries, they are really concerned about the whole opposite sex thing. I found out at district training this week that the mission could very well be split into two by the summer. Not sure yet, and nothing official has been said at all, but I may end up serving in two different missions. And like I said, that is just what President Jensen thinks. No one has told him that, and there is really no evidence to back it, but he thinks it may happen. Well, I love and miss you all. Can't wait to hear from you next week. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I am coming home a week earlier from my mission I have just been informed. This transfer is only going to be 5 weeks instead of 6 weeks because of things with the MTC. Therefore, a week has now been shaved off my mission. :( In other news, 2 of the 3 baptismal dates have been dropped, which is a bummer. But no worries. They'll come around eventually! I was thinking a lot about ya'll last night and this morning, I hope you are doing well. Sounds like Sean has got a lot of things going on that are pretty exciting. Just felt a fraction of the joy that i was going top be able to share with ya'll after I have to leave my mission. Not looking forward to that day except to see and hug and talk with ya'll. I miss you tons! This week our zone is doing a "power week" where we are trying to push the bounds and limits that seems to have been placed on our area. Our goals are super high, but I know we can accomplish them. Hope Valentine's day goes well for you all. It sounds as though I may be going on a blind date that night, so that'll be fun. (More to come on that one later) ;) Next week I'll explain. But you have nothing to worry about. A week or two ago we taught a family in our ward the Word of Wisdom. The background on this family is they are in their mid 30's, kinda overweight, and love LOTR and RPGs and all that sci fi stuff. Well, we love them. They feed us lots and are so cool. But as we shared the WoW (not to be confused with World of Warcraft, Josh) with them, they mentioned they follow it very well already cause he has kidney problems, and before he was even investigating the church he was living it because of the diet restrictions  Well anyway, when we heard they were living it almost perfectly, we decided to take it further and asked them to examine their lives more closely and see if they couldn't find ways to eat healthier and be more healthy. Well, I didn't realize this, but after we left Elder Davis mentioned that it definitely could have come across as though we were trying to tell them to go on a diet. And of course it was not that way AT ALL, but, I can definitely see how they might have taken it like we were telling them to... Oops! We fretted about that one for awhile afterward. Hahaha they really are like the coolest people ever though. In an effort to write more individually, I'll end my letter here. But I pray for you all daily, if not more. I miss you dearly. Go out and share the gospel with someone this week. Pray for a missionary opportunity, and I promise you will get one. With love, Elder Smith